Trustees to embark on listening process for input on next Penn State president

Known as ‘Next Gen Penn State,’ the search for new leader includes elements for participation by University community beginning in March

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — With Penn State President Eric J. Barron’s announcement that he plans to retire when his current contract expires in 16 months, the University Board of Trustees is undertaking a phased approach to select a new president for the institution.

Board Chairman Matt Schuyler said the process will be led by a Presidential Recruitment and Selection Committee that will be co-chaired by Trustees Mark Dambly* and Julie Anna Potts. The process will begin this spring with a “Next Gen Penn State” listening phase that will engage University stakeholders in providing feedback to identify the desired qualities and qualifications for Penn State’s 19th president.

Schuyler said the composition of the Presidential Recruitment and Selection Committee and details of the Next Gen Penn State process will be announced in early March, and that the listening phase would inform the Recruitment and Selection Committee’s search, which will commence in the early summer.

“Under President Barron’s leadership, Penn State has made incredible progress during a critical time in our University’s history. I have no doubt he will continue that progress with the priorities he has identified for the remainder of his term,” said Schuyler. “One of the most important responsibilities we have, as a Board of Trustees, is the selection and appointment of a new leader for Penn State. Through the establishment of the Presidential Recruitment and Selection Committee, the board is ideally positioned to engage in a timely and phased approach to select and hire another world-class leader for the future.”

Schuyler added it was important for the “Next Gen Penn State” listening process to engage a wide array of University stakeholders — such as students, faculty, staff, donors, alumni, government and community officials, among others. “We are a large and complex University, and it’s critical that our selection process is informed by the entirety of our Penn State family. Together, their voices will be an important part of the overall process.”

Dambly said that as a world-class University with exceptional faculty, staff and students, offering a high-quality education and groundbreaking research, the board is “confident that Penn State will attract many excellent candidates.”

“We are all seeking an experienced leader with far-reaching vision who can build upon Dr. Barron’s accomplishments,” Potts added. “We look forward to engaging our community in developing a vision for our search process.”

Schuyler noted the University “begins this process well-positioned for the future and its next leader,” pointing to a number of markers that include:

*Editor’s note: David Kleppinger, vice chair of the Board of Trustees, has assumed the role of co-chair of the Presidential Recruitment and Selection Committee following 10 months of service by Trustee Mark H. Dambly, who stepped down from the committee for personal reasons.

Last Updated November 01, 2021